Maureen Dowd will get off penalty-free for (she says) accidentally plagiarizing a paragraph of Josh Marshall's material. Fine by us! Can the New York Times stop pretending the internet is ripping it off, now?
There was a time when this little plagiarism incident—even if inadvertent—would have been a big deal. But the "new media" these days, always with the copying and the pasting and paraphrasing—you can see how this could happen by mistake.
So let's give her the benefit of the doubt! Then let's point out that the NYT is one of the loudest newspaper voices bemoaning the idea that they create all the original content and the internet rips it off, in a one-way downhill dance of media thievery. In fact, the NYT itself has a grand tradition of stealing stories from smaller regional papers, parachuting in their own correspondents to re-report and repackage those stories for a national audience.
All papers do that! But none as well as the Times. And just as blogs use NYT stories for raw material, the paper does the same; since they're too straitlaced to stray from polite discourse, they'll just pull what they want to say from a blog, i.e. "Rupert Murdoch has always had his detractors; Snark-purveying wags at Gawker even described Mr. Murdoch as a 'piss-drinking mummy' and insinuated he had sexual relations with several lowland gorillas on a trip abroad, though that could not be independently verified."
They can't say it, so they let us say it, then they say what we said! Just like we use their reporting as a launching pad. Let's just admit we're one big interconnected ecosystem here. We wouldn't want MoDo to get fired anyhow. We're the only ones who get something worthwhile out of her.